Cerebral Cavernoma

Cerebral cavernoma seizures

Last Updated August 23rd, 2019

When a group of blood vessels dilate abnormally, they form bubble-like cavities called caverns. When these caverns form in the brain, the resulting condition is called a cerebral cavernoma. The blood circulation is not normal within these caverns. If these caverns are formed anywhere in the central nervous system they have the potential to cause severe complications which can be fatal.
A cavern formed anywhere in the CNS can have serious repercussions. When these caverns begin to bleed is when they turn dangerous. The bleeding is often progressive and so are the associated symptoms. It initially begins with loss of sensory functions, dizziness, vision problems, balance problems, and can even lead to hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when there is internal bleeding within the brain. It is essential that an individual with cavernoma symptoms keep their BP in check. High BP can trigger a stroke.
Headaches are often the early signs of a cerebral cavernoma. In addition to headaches, a person may also experience dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and at times, epileptic seizures. Some people may also begin to show classic symptoms of stroke in case of cerebral cavernoma such as double vision and slurred speech.

What Is A Cavernoma? What Does It Look Like?

A cavernoma or cavernous malformation is a rare condition involving the abnormal dilation of a group of blood vessels. As a result of this dilation, bubble-like cavities called caverns form in the affected blood vessels. The flow of blood through these caverns is slowed down and the walls of the vessels are particularly weak at these spots. Hence, there is a possibility of the walls being breached and giving rise to bleeding. Since these dilated blood vessels with caverns appear in clusters and tend to be red (or purplish) in color, they are often likened to raspberries in appearance. Technically, a cavernoma is considered a type of vascular lesion.

What Is A Cerebral Cavernoma?

CEREBRAL CAVERNOMA strokeCavernomas can arise anywhere in the body. They may even be present in the skin, where they are clearly visible externally, forming red bumps. Those that affect the central nervous system (the brain or spinal cord or both) are rather rarer. Generally, spinal cord cavernomas are rarer than those in the brain. A cerebral cavernoma could potentially develop in any part of the brain and in an individual of any age, gender or ancestry.

Sometimes, a single individual could have multiple such abnormal formations in the brain. These may be so small as to only be noticeable under a microscope. Others may span several inches in diameter. These dilated blood vessels could leak out the blood that has pooled within them. They could even give rise to various neurological symptoms that could be life-threatening.

What Causes Cerebral Cavernomas?

The true cause is not well understood. A small number of cases are attributed to genetic factors as the condition appears to run in certain families. There are two main scenarios associated with the formation of cavernous malformations in the brain, namely:

  • A hereditary condition is known as familial multiple cavernous malformation syndromes.
  • Having received radiation to the head and neck region. This includes radiation therapy or accidental exposure.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Cerebral Cavernoma?

cerebral cavernoma hemorrhageWhen a cavernoma arises in the central nervous system, it is capable of causing severe neurological symptoms and potentially fatal complications. The nature and severity of symptoms are dependent on the specific location of the cavernoma in the brain or spinal cord. Sometimes, though, the condition is ‘silent’ and does not cause any noticeable symptoms.

Some potential symptoms are listed below:

  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Slurring of speech.
  • Numbness.
  • Other sensory disturbances.
  • Weakness.
  • Double vision or blurring of vision.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance.
  • Difficulty with memory.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Tremors.
  • Seizures.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke.

Ensure that your surging blood pressure doesn’t trigger a cerebral cavernoma.

Do Cerebral Cavernomas Cause Any Complications?

Symptoms often set in when a cerebral cavernoma bleeds. But they tend to abate as the blood is reabsorbed. This can happen when bleeding is very gradual or when a very small quantity of blood leaks from the cavernoma. Symptoms can worsen progressively if there is a significant and continuous bleed. A bleeding cavernoma can progressively build up pressure on the nervous tissue around it and this can have critical outcomes. For one, it could cause a significant hemorrhage. The risk of hemorrhage is compounded if the patient is found to have multiple such malformations. However, superficial lesions are less likely to bleed than more deep-seated ones.

How Can This Condition Be Diagnosed?

Cerebral cavernoma seizuresBased upon the symptoms alone, it is difficult to accurately diagnose a case of brain or spinal cavernoma. This is especially true since the condition is quite a rare one. Cavernomas are sometimes detected incidentally while conducting tests investigating some other neurological problem. The best way to correctly identify this condition is by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.

In general, the standard diagnostic protocol would include the following steps:

  • Physical examination.
  • Medical history.
  • Computerised tomography (CT) tests.
  • Angiogram.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

Treatment and Prevention

Once the lesion or lesions have been detected, the doctor may or may not advise making any active intervention. If the lesion is largely asymptomatic and small in size, it may be advisable to leave it as it is. In order to keep an eye on the cavernoma, it would still be necessary to monitor it by repeating the tests at regular intervals. On the other hand, some cases may require therapy and there are a number of options available. Medications can help to manage seizures and prevent strokes. Surgery is another alternative. However, the choice of treatment will depend on the extent and severity of the condition and the specific location of the lesion. It is also important to take into account the general health and age of the patient before proceeding to undertake surgery.

There are no methods to prevent cerebral cavernoma. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle, management of weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels is advised. Stress levels should be checked in order to prevent the sudden shooting up of blood pressure.

Facts

  • Approximately 20% of cases of cerebral cavernoma depict inheritance as a cause.

Facts

  • Around 75% of the total brain mass comprises water.
  • The brain can survive without an oxygen supply only for around 4 to 6 minutes.

Facts

  • The length of blood vessels in the brain comes to around 150,000 miles.

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When a group of blood vessels dilate abnormally, they form bubble-like cavities called caverns. When these caverns form in the brain, the resulting condition is called a cerebral cavernoma. The blood circulation is not normal within these caverns. If these caverns are formed anywhere in the central nervous system they have the potential to cause severe complications which can be fatal.
A cavern formed anywhere in the CNS can have serious repercussions. When these caverns begin to bleed is when they turn dangerous. The bleeding is often progressive and so are the associated symptoms. It initially begins with loss of sensory functions, dizziness, vision problems, balance problems, and can even lead to hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when there is internal bleeding within the brain. It is essential that an individual with cavernoma symptoms keep their BP in check. High BP can trigger a stroke.
Headaches are often the early signs of a cerebral cavernoma. In addition to headaches, a person may also experience dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and at times, epileptic seizures. Some people may also begin to show classic symptoms of stroke in case of cerebral cavernoma such as double vision and slurred speech.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Keep a record of your symptoms. A symptom calendar can include all the details related to your symptoms such as its occurrence for the first time, duration, severity etc.
  • Make a list of all the medications prescribed along with the nutritional and vitamin supplements that you are taking.
  • Manage stress. Stress management can be done by practicing meditation, mindful breathing techniques etc. Get enough sleep to reduce your stress levels.
Don'ts
  • Skip your routine health check-up. This will help you to keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and will keep you well-informed about the condition of the malformation.
  • Have alcohol consumption. It might make the symptoms worse.
  • Indulge in smoking. Nicotine can adversely affect the health of your blood vessels.

 

 

 

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Tattoo Aftercare: The best practices to follow once you get inked Planning getting permanently inked? Make sure you follow these critical tattoo aftercare techniques to avoid infectious agents attacking…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Beware of these common foods that cause high bodily inflammation! Maybe its the long list of inflammatory foods in your diet that is making you frequently sick. Find…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
bradycardia fainting
What does hypoglycemia look like when you don’t have diabetes? Hypoglycemia is not just a disease that co-occurs with diabetes. Non-diabetics could also become hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia can be…
Internal bleeding brain
Beware: Ignoring these tell-tale signs of stroke could cost a life The signs and symptoms of a stroke differ depending on which part of the brain has been affected.…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
EEG
Electroencephalogram – EEG EEG or electroencephalogram is a diagnostic tool used to access the functioning of neurons and brain activity to…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Tachycardia heart
Cardiac Profile Cardiac profile is panel of blood tests performed to check cholesterol level and other heart disease markers to…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…